“I STARTED!”: Entry #25 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-ball season …

Posted on Feb 22, 2013

… AS CHRONICLED BY, AND WITH THE PERSONAL MEMOIRS + OCCASSIONAL PHILOSOPHIZING OF THE AUTHOR, ONE STEPHEN J. McKEE”

This CENTAUR SEASONS post was written in February 1973.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 58, Messiah College 64, two nights ago

NEXT GAME: Northampton Community CC, tonight 

CENTAUR SEASON: 4-10

We lost to Messiah two days ago, 64-58. WE WERE UP FOUR AT HALFTIME!

(We CAN beat these guys — just like I said in my last enry.)

It was, to say the least, a completely different game than the last time we played them (and got crushed by 29).

I started! First time since the second Wilmington game and only fifth time all year — first Lehigh CC, first Northampton CC, and the home opener agaisnt Eastern. Geesh.

When my roommate Dave Glielmi and I were both not starting together – the first Spring Garden and Baptist Bible games – we agreed that when the cheerleaders gave the introduction – “Yay Dennis, yay Ramella, yay-yay Dennis Ramella!” We would give each other a starting cheer. It started out as a joke, but now, when we ask ourselves who is going to start, we say: “Is it gonna be ‘Yay Dave, yay Glielmi, yay-yay Dave Glielmi’ tonight?”

Well anyway, to make a long story shorter, before this game Dave asked me if it was going to be “Yay Steve, yay McKee, yay-yay Steve McKee?” I said I didn’t know. Two minutes later, as I was standing next to Dave, the cheerleaders said, “Yay Steve, yay McKee, yay-yay Steve McKee.” We both started laughing right on the court.

To say the least, the game was a defensive battle. There was even one three-minute stretch in the second half where it was locked at 54-50. John Cooper and I did a good job shutting down there “wheel play,” as they call it. We planted ourselves in the middle of the lane and they couldn’t run their players around the post and go anywhere.

I played the first 12 minutes of the game. Blocked their big guy’s first three shots (he’s 6-foot-5) and forced him into a turnover the next time he got the ball. As Joey Thomson said, “He was talking to himself by the end of the game.”

This had to be the first game where I immediately established myself as the dominant big man in the game. As P.J. Brennan said: “He knew it and you knew it, so why get excited?”

If there has been any good that has come from this season, I think it must be that I have shown flashes where I was the dominant player in the game — the second half of the Pharmacy game, the Ursinus scrimmage preseason, most of the scrimmage against the Lehigh Freshman, that nine-minute stretch during the Rutgers game. And now the first 12 minutes of this second Messiah game. Last year I don’t think there was any one game that I really dominated. At least there has been some improvement. At least I think so.

My biggest problem has got to be consistency. I really cannot be counted on for anything, prior to the game. With me, you have to wait and see. And that’s enough to drive a coach batty!

I sprained my ankle again….

Tonight, we play Northampton Area Community College, at home. We beat them last time by 37. We should, we BETTER beat these guys. If we don’t, I think I’ll kill myself.

I’ve found that for the last three games – starting with Rutgers — I have been much more nervous than I was for the other games. The day of the Rutgers game I made a conscious effort at thinking about the game. Now it seems to be coming rather naturally. The nervousness, and that feeling in the stomach, start about 2 o’clock. By the time my 4 o’clock class rolls around, I can’t sit still. At dinner and till the game starts, I get really quiet. There have even been people coming up to me on game days who ask me:

“What’s the matter?”

“How come you’re so quiet?”

“You’re not yourself.”

The build-up, and then the let down, they are almost unbearable.

We will beat Northampton.

I think my ankle will be O.K.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 58, Messiah College 64, two nights ago

NEXT GAME: Northampton Community CC, tonight

1972-73 CENTAUR SEASON Schedule and Results:

12-1-72  — at Lehigh CCC — W/81-71 — 1-0

12-4 — at Northampton CCC — W/87-50 — 2-0

12-6  — EASTERN BAPTIST — L/73-75 — 2-1

12-12 — SPRING GARDEN — L/54-66 — 2-2

12-16 — PHILLY BIBLE — L/72-79 — 2-3

1-18-73   — at Baptist Bible — L/82-84 — 2-4

1-19  — WILMINGTON — L/56-71 — 2-5

1-25  — at Philly Pharmacy — L/56-71 — 2-6

1-30  — at Spring Garden — L/64-69 — 2-7

2-3   — at Messiah College — L/47-76 — 2-8

2-6   — at  Wilmington — L/52/88 — 2-9

2-13  — RUTGERS, S. JERSEY — W/89-68 — 3-9 (but 1-0!)

2-16  — LEHIGH CCC — W/81-76 — 4-9 (but 2-0!)

2-20  — MESSIAH — L/58-64 — 4-10 (but 2-1!)

2-22  — NORTHAMPTON CCC

2-24  — PHILLY PHARMACY

2-27 — BAPTIST BIBLE

 

 

On February 24th, 2013 at 8:05 am, Steve McKee: Centaur Season said:

[…] “I STARTED!”: Entry #25 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College&#82… […]



 
     

Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS: A ‘memory blog’ of the basketball beginnings of a half-good, half-bad, all-new college team.

Once, I was a Centaur.

I played basketball for Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales in Center Valley, Pa. I was on four of the school’s first seven teams, was MVP senior year and in 1974 graduated in the fifth class.

My junior year I kept a diary: A History of the Events of the 1972-1973 Allentown College B-Ball Season, as Chronicled by, and With the Personal Memoirs + Occassional [sic] Philosophizing of the Author, One Stephen J. McKee.  One-hundred-forty-five hand-writ pages. (Yes, I was an English major.)

But it occurs to me now: Were I today a “Bulldog” playing for “DeSales University” (both mascot and name changed in 2000), my private “History” would be not a diary but a blog.

So starting November 30  “…Personal Memoirs…” will be re-imagined as CENTAUR SEASONS

A blog before its time, posted 40 years after in real time.

Meanwhile, beginning on September 24, here at CENTAUR SEASONS the preseason has already tipped off, with stories, interviews and reminiscences of the people, the place and the purpose of those early years of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales.

Check back often. Sign up for CentaurSeasonAlerts. Email CENTAUR SEASONS to friends.

We were not a bad team, we Centaurs. We just weren’t very good. Winning was always the goal, if never exactly the point. How could it be, with victories so few?

Back then Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales was a couple of buildings in some cornfields.  Our commitment to the school’s basketball program was far greater than was the school’s commitment us. So what? We got to play college ball – and paid for the privilege! In return, we got to be part of a team, wear the red and blue, be Centaurs. And we got to create a place that was, right then, as much concept as it was college, making itself up as we went along.

What we got was a once-in-a-life-time chance.

All we had to do was keep showing up -- next practice, next game, next season. And so we did.

Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS.

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